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Testing Gravity

2. The Modern Theory of Gravity: General Relativity

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In this mini-lecture, we introduce the modern theory of gravity known as General Relativity. As we move through this mini-lecture, we introduce (i) the theory’s founder, Albert Einstein; (ii) the Equivalence Principle and how this concept can help us understand that mass curves spacetime; (iii) the exploration by Arthur Eddington in 1919 that was the first confirmation of the theory; and (iv) successes and applications of the theory. We conclude with a discussion of why it’s important to continue to discuss gravity, which will transition into our third mini-lecture.


In this course, Professor Jens Gundlach (University of Washington) explores gravity, in particular, gravity experiments. In the first mini-lecture, we give an overview of how our understanding of gravity and the Universe has evolved from ancient to modern times, emphasising various experiments, observations and theories that developed along the way. In the second mini-lecture, we introduce the modern theory of gravity, General Relativity. The third mini-lecture explores the big picture of physics, discussing the incompatibility between General Relativity and the Standard Model, and how physicists are searching for a unifying ‘Theory of Everything.’ In the fourth and fifth mini-lectures we turn towards gravity experiments, including those done at the University of Washington. In particular, we discuss experiments that test for Equivalence Principle violation and precisely measure the gravitational constant G.


Jens Gundlach is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He was a recipient of the 2021 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for precision fundamental measurements that test our understanding of gravity, probe the nature of dark energy, and establish limits on couplings to dark matter. Naturally, his research interests include experimental fundamental physics, however Professor Gundlach also conducts research in biophysics. In particular, he is interested in nanopore sequencing of DNA.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Gundlach, J. (2022, January 12). Testing Gravity - The Modern Theory of Gravity: General Relativity [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gundlach, Jens. "Testing Gravity – The Modern Theory of Gravity: General Relativity." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 12 Jan 2022,

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